The Alouette Reservoir is slowly being released over the spillway into the Alouette River. (Contributed)

Do not go near the Alouette River, B.C. Hydro warns

River snakes through Maple Ridge and Pitt Meadows

People are being warned to stay away from the banks of the Alouette River.

After heavy rainfall hit the region Friday night and early Saturday morning, the Alouette Reservoir has reached capacity, said Jesse Brown with B.C. Hydro, and now the water is being released slowly over the spillway and into the Alouette River.

READ MORE: City of Maple Ridge says risk of flooding diminished along North and South Alouette River

“Discharge from the free crest weir began around 9 a.m. this morning and coincided with a reduction in spill from a controlled gate,” said Brown, adding that this is the first time since 1995 that the reservoir has reached capacity and the spillway has been used.

Usually B.C. Hydro keeps the reservoir level below 124.7 metres throughout the winter for flood risk management, but as of 3 p.m. on Saturday the Alouette Reservoir was at 125.72 metres and expected to peak at just below 126 metres.

However, Brown said, there are no dam safety concerns at the Alouette, Stave or Ruskin facilities.

Temporary signage has been placed along the Alouette River bank last Friday, during the previous storm.

B.C. Hydro expects the free crest spill to cease sometime late Sunday night or early Monday morning.

RELATED: Heavy rain Friday night causing flooding in North Maple Ridge and Hammond

The flood alert, said Brown, will remain in place until the free crest spill ceases.

“BC Hydro will adjust water releases downstream as needed and closely monitor the actual water flows that come into the system,” he said.

A record amount of 111.8 mm of rain fell on Friday.

The next storm cycle, although smaller in nature, is expected to arrive on Tuesday.

Tonight Environment Canada is predicting the possibility of wet flurries overnight and a mainly sunny day on Monday.

However, the agency is calling for a 40 per cent chance of snow overnight into Tuesday and a low of 0C.

Rain is expected for the rest of the week.

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